by Steve Roach

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Paul Stillwell
Paul Stillwell thumbnail
Paul Stillwell I love Berlin School sequenced music. This one is a classic! Favorite track: Arrival.
markus mala
markus mala thumbnail
markus mala This is probably one of the most driven sequenced effort by Steve Roach, each piece flows like burning lava. The moods are also close to his previous works like "Now", "Traveller" and also his next live called "Storm warning". A lot of Energy in shorter tracks here Favorite track: Harmonia Mundi.
kadees thumbnail
Long out-of-print electronic classic in a digital "deluxe edition" with two bonus tracks from the same era. Favorite track: Merge.
Jean-Paul DuQuette
Jean-Paul DuQuette thumbnail
Jean-Paul DuQuette There are only a few albums I can listen to while working and this is one of them. Not sleepy or melancholic like much ambient electronic, but the somewhat trance-inducing sequencing isn't intrusive either. I know giving an album a positive review because of a personal utilitarian reason is a bit lame, but there it is. I'm sure I'll be breaking this out any time I need some writing BGM. Favorite track: Harmonia Mundi.
Scott thumbnail
Scott I've always loved how the end of "Arrival" offers an opportunity to pause and look around, to get my bearings at wherever it is I've arrived. This sounds really fresh and clean despite being 30 years old. Favorite track: Arrival.
Backroads66 thumbnail
Backroads66 Arrival sounds like something you would hear during a mass UFO sighting....like the mothership making an appearance......it sounds just as good as it did, the first time I got it on cassette....you can't beat classics like this. Favorite track: Arrival.
  • Streaming + Download

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Back in Print: The 30th anniversary of this electronic classic, reissued in Digipak with original artwork. This is the 1986 9-track album, on one CD. You get the bonus tracks in the download.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Empetus via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $14 USD or more 




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Long out-of-print electronic classic in a digital "deluxe edition" with two bonus tracks from the same era.

Roach’s 5th solo album features sophisticated, energetic sequencer music, similar to his earlier Now and Traveler, ending with a haunting, melodic piece, “The Memory,” more akin to his floating ambient work of the period.

Empetus' full blown sequencer-based music illustrating a further evolution in the visceral side of Roach’s music. Nine precise pieces that still sound fresh today. A favorite of sequencer music lovers.

John Diliberto ((( echoes ))) wrote in 2010: “This may be the most concise Steve Roach album and came at the end of his sequencer phase, his last flame-out on Berlin school electronics. But he was already taking it somewhere new. Unlike Roach’s usual CD long expanses, these are bite-size compositions that do their job, quickly, efficiently and with every moment counting. Roach leaves you breathless in a maze of synchronized spinning patterns only to pick you up and send you whirling again.”

The Early Years – a digital bonus:
The digital-only bonus, entitled The Early Years, features two amazing long-form sequencer pieces circa 1982. The first piece, “Harmonia Mundi,” was recorded live in the L.A.-based Timeroom with Swiss-born electronic musician Thomas Ronkin. At 45 minutes, this is one of the more possessed and intense analog sequencer trance pieces you’re likely to hear. “Release” is a 24-minute solo statement of emotion and energy connected to the early years of Steve’s evolution in sound, harkening to Now and Traveler.

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review from AllMusic.com:
This 1986 Steve Roach release finds him visiting the very familiar territory of his early years. Empetus is a profoundly rhythmic recording, with dashes of ambient atmospheric textures here and there adding a luminous aura of color to each of the tracks. Empetus, like many of his early recorded works, has a bit of a Berlin School feel, a lá Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, and Ashra, but there's something about even Steve Roach's earliest work that is distinctly American in flavor and composition. As noted, this is a rhythmic recording, consisting of beautiful and cool analog and synthesizer sounds, which truly date the music as being from the mid-'80s, but Empetus is a refreshing, almost vintage recording rather than a schlocky, almost insubstantial synth/new age excursion that, unfortunately, the '80s yielded many of. There's also a bit of a minimalist feel, similar to some of Steve Reich's work, but more organic and less cold. One track that really sticks out is "Conquest," with Weslie Brown's fervent vocals passionately resonating throughout the track, set against the backdrop of Steve Roach's organic, and isolated, synthesized minimalism. This is a great recording and one that is truly a wonderful place to start exploring the massive catalog of Steve Roach. - Matt Borghi


released July 17, 1986


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Projekt Records Portland, Oregon

Projekt is America's premier independent label specializing in passionately intense introspective music across a variety of genres (ambient, ethereal, electronic,darkwave, goth, dreampop & more). Projekt is home to a diverse roster including Steve Roach, Voltaire, Erik Wollo, Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Forrest Fang, Mark Seelig, Lycia and others. ... more


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